Feb. 21, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 10

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    In the News

    The Chronicle’s biweekly column In the News offers a digest of commentary and quotations by a few of the University faculty members, students and alumni who have been headlining the news in recent weeks. Chicago faculty members are some of the most frequently quoted experts, so space allows publishing references to only selected examples. To read many of the full newspaper articles mentioned in this column, visit the In the News column at the University News Office Web site at: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    Martha McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology and the College, and the research she and her team of scientists have been pursuing in the field of biopsychology were featured on the front page of the Perspective section of the Sunday, Feb. 3 Chicago Tribune. The story, which discussed their recent research on women’s male odor preferences that are inherited from paternal genes, also highlighted past discoveries McClintock has made on synchronous menstrual cycles. The story quoted McClintock and her colleague Carole Ober, Professor in Human Genetics, with whom she worked on the study of inherited preferences.

    Locke Bowman, Lecturer and Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the Law School, commented in a Friday, Feb. 1 Chicago Sun-Times story that reported on Gov. George Ryan’s Illinois Death Penalty Commission and its recommendations. The report on the proposed reforms is expected to be available to the public in March. Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court set minimum standards for death penalty lawyers. “I think the reforms that have taken place are encouraging and instructive but clearly insufficient,” said Bowman. “The reforms that have gone on the books relate to the quality of defense. They are good ones and important, but there is much more that needs to be addressed.”

    Don Browning, the Alexander Campbell Professor in the Divinity School, was interviewed for an Associated Press Newswires story about the documentary Marriage––Just a Piece of Paper? Browning, Director of the Religion, Culture and Family Project, was involved in creating the documentary, which was funded by the Lilly Endowment. “Marriage developed in the West as a public institution, nourished by religious and cultural traditions. We may be in the process of dismantling it, and before we do, we ought to think about it,” said Browning. A story on the documentary, which aired nationally on PBS on Valentine’s Day, also was published in the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Maria Spiropulu, an Enrico Fermi Fellow, was quoted in a New York Times article that reported on a Fermilab experiment that simulated the conditions needed to search for supersymmetric particles, or SUSYs. The experiment, using the Tevatron particle accelerator, has established “a new lower limit” on the mass of a member of the SUSY family called the gluino. Spiropulu designed the program to hunt for gluinos, but instead of finding them, the experiment results provided physicists with a better idea of where not to search. “If one were hunting for gold, this would be the map of where not to dig,” Spiropulu said.

    Research conducted by Owen Lamont, Associate Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business, was featured in a Wednesday, Feb. 6 column in The Wall Street Journal. “For a nifty look at what the world would be like without short selling, consider the example told by finance professor Owen Lamont,” the article said. The commentary continues with a description of Lamont’s research on 3Com’s spin off of a portion of its Palm subsidiary, maker of the Palm Pilot.

    Halina Brukner, Vice Chairman and Professor of Clinical Medicine in Medicine, was quoted in a story that appeared in the Monday, Feb. 4 Los Angeles Times about which additional tests are required during a physical examination for someone who has turned 50 years of age.

    Leon Kass, the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the head of President Bush’s new Council on Bioethics, was profiled in U.S. News & World Report Monday, Feb. 11. The story noted Kass’ career in medicine and ethics, revealed part of his personal life and challenged some of the misperceptions held by his critics, who have portrayed him as a foe of scientific advances. “I would have been dead three or four times if it weren’t for modern medicine,” said Kass. “The claim that I’m some kind of Luddite is just ridiculous.”

    President Randel was the subject of a Chicago Tribune Internet edition feature called In the Loop, which is a short Q and A that profiles the cultural tastes of prominent people in Chicago. Published Sunday, Feb. 10, the article reported that Randel was recently reading American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh. “Seeing the projects coming down, one is bound to wonder how such good intentions could have gone so wrong,” said Randel.

    Roman Weil, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business, was included in a New York Times list of witnesses expected to testify at Congressional hearings on the collapse of Enron Corp. The list appeared in a Monday, Feb. 4 article, two days before Weil was scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Weil’s testimony before the committee, which is investigating the Enron collapse, was reported in the Thursday, Feb. 7 issue of the Chicago Tribune. Weil opposes banning auditors from performing audits and doing consulting for the same company. He told the committee the independence of auditors could be achieved by limiting the time they can work for one company and by giving audit committees of companies more power. Weil also was interviewed for a Saturday, Feb. 2 Chicago Tribune story on the Enron Corp. collapse.

    Richard Schilsky, Professor in Medicine and Dean of Clinical Research in the Division of Biological Sciences, was quoted in a New York Times story that appeared Friday, Feb. 8. The story reported on the Food and Drug Administration’s rejection of an application to approve a tumor-shrinking drug developed by ImClone Systems. The rejected application has sparked debate about companies that seek regulatory approval for drugs based on small, limited clinical trials. “A lot of companies try to take this as the path of least resistance to getting their drugs approved,” said Schilsky, who moderated a panel discussion at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

    Randall Kroszner, Professor of Economics in the GSB, made an economic forecast that predicted a recovery by the middle of this year. His prediction was featured in a Wednesday, Feb. 6 Washington Post article. Kroszner is on leave from the GSB while he serves as a member of President Bush’s three-person Council of Economic Advisers.